Lang Walker Family Academy
The Walker Family Foundation’s investment in Powerhouse Parramatta is an extraordinary commitment to driving generational change for young people in Western Sydney and regional NSW by elevating Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) learning.
The Foundation’s funding for the Lang Walker Family Academy delivers a much-needed boost for 10,000 students’ education and career opportunities by giving them access to a world-first immersive STEM learning experience at the museum and enhanced in-school programming.
In the lead-up to Powerhouse Parramatta opening in 2025, the Lang Walker Family Academy has already created new learning pathways through the Lang Walker Family Academy In-Schools Program, which began in 2022. Students at schools in the Blacktown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bankstown, Penrith and Parramatta LGAs now have unprecedented access to industry-leading ideas, experts and technologies from the fields of science, engineering and business.
The 2023 Lang Walker Family Academy In-Schools Program is connecting high school students from Western Sydney and regional NSW with the International Space Station through Powerhouse: Future Space. The program challenges them to apply NASA-inspired design thinking strategies while developing their own experiments, then present their best ideas in a competitive pitch judged by a committee of specialists at the Sydney Science Festival. The winning plan will be realised through ground tests and experiments on the International Space Station at the beginning of 2024.
When Powerhouse Parramatta opens the Lang Walker Family Academy will offer expansive STEM learning programs that simply aren’t possible in school environments – and deliver them onsite at the new museum in state-of-the-art education spaces. The new Lang Walker Family Academy facilities will also include accommodation for 56 students and their teachers participating in 3-day intensive STEM camps.
Lang Walker Family Academy students and alumni can also collaborate and engage with educators and industry leaders in the Lang Walker Family Digital Academy, an online platform supporting continued access to the world’s leading STEM practitioners, researchers, industry leaders and Powerhouse Programs.
As Foundation Donor to Powerhouse Parramatta the Walker Family Foundation has committed $20 million – one of the largest donations to an Australian cultural institution and the second largest donation for Western Sydney.
Since 2020, the Walker Family Foundation has dedicated $50 million to deliver advantages for Western Sydney communities in areas such as education, medical research, health and culture.
The Walker Family Foundation’s gift represents more than a commitment to helping build a cultural landmark: it’s an investment in a generational shift for 10,000 students each year who will participate in immersive STEM programs and access new career pathways through the Lang Walker Family Academy.
These learning experiences will be linked to the NSW STEM curriculum and delivered in collaboration with the Department of Education, industry, researchers, and other cultural and knowledge institutions. Students will gain unique experiences beyond the classroom, including direct interactions with local and international scientists, researchers, and industry leaders; and opportunities to explore the history and practical application of STEM via the Powerhouse Collection and the museum’s exhibition program.
The Foundation will also help close the gap for large cohorts of high school students from Western Sydney and regional NSW who would otherwise be disadvantaged due to their home circumstances. Each year the Lang Walker Family Academy Scholarship program will award 2,000 students with fully funded placements, including live-in STEM camps, at the Lang Walker Family Academy located in the East Building of Powerhouse Parramatta.
Powerhouse Parramatta is being realised through the generosity, support and collaboration of the NSW Government, foundations, agencies, businesses and individuals for the community.More
Powerhouse relies on the generosity and collaborations to deliver world class exhibitions and education programs for our communities.More